Not only is Jordan Fisher astoundingly talented, but he’s also an absolutely delightful interview, oozing with passion and enthusiasm. And those also happen to be some of the pillars of his newest release, the Netflix dance movie, Work It. Fisher plays Jake Taylor, an incredibly skilled dancer who’s bound to be one of the best of the best – until he injures his knee. Dejected, he pulls back from competitive dancing, but when Quinn Ackerman (Sabrina Carpenter) approaches him with a proposal that reignites that fire in Jake, he considers helping her do the impossible – taking down some of the most talented, experienced dance teams at the Work It competition with a crew of diamonds in the rough.
During our chat, Fisher offered up some advice for folks (like me) who are convinced they can’t dance and also addressed the journey Jake goes on in the film, but he also took some time to discuss another big title on his resume – Hamilton. Fisher took over the roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton from Anthony Ramos in November of 2016. Ever wonder what that role hand-off process is really like? Here’s what Fisher said when I asked what advice he got from Ramos:
“It rarely happens, to be honest with you. It just rarely happens. Unless somebody specifically comes to you and is like, ‘Hey, can you give me some advice on the thing?’ It’s usually just being lead by example. That is always the biggest takeaway that you can muster from that kind of scenario. Ant [Ramos] is one of the most talented people in the world, and always – as an actor, as a writer, as a creative, he’s remarkable. Especially in learning a role on Broadway, you’re in rehearsal space by yourself all day with an associate choreographer and an associate director and then, you’re at the theater in the evening and you’re watching the show or you are trailing the person that you are replacing backstage. So you’re basically following them all around backstage, seeing what their routes are, their timing, how long they stay here, how long they go here, how much time they have between this and that.”
Given the fact that Hamilton was at peak popularity on Broadway at that point, one could imagine it had to be a high pressure situation for Fisher. However, this is where Ramos’ “fun” and “chill” approach to the hand-off came in handy big time when Fisher had to jump in feet first:
“That’s what you need, especially in taking something on like that. This was at the height of its popularity when I joined the show. It was still a concert energy every night. And the night that I went on, the other two guys that covered my role both happened to be on stage that night as well in different roles, Ant was in LA, so at that point, I was the only person in New York City that could play the role. You have to just kind of thrust yourself on stage and just do it because you don’t have another option, you know?”
If you’d like to hear even more about what it was like being part of Hamilton on Broadway, click here to find out what Emmy Raver-Lampman had to say about how Leslie Odom Jr. fought for the cast of the show. And for more on Work It from Fisher, check out the full interview at the top of this article! We’ve also got a chat with Carpenter and Liza Koshy here for you as well. Work It is available to watch on Netflix now!
- His advice for someone who’s convinced they can’t dance.
- Fisher reveals something he never thought he’d be able to accomplish, but actually wound doing.
- Fisher discusses Jake’s predicament in the movie and the key to overcoming it.
- Fisher’s biggest personal cheerleader.
- The parts of the filmmaking process Fisher finds most challenging; his appreciation for the production process.
- Fisher reveals how the role hand-off process on a Broadway show like Hamilton really works.